Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 10, pp 7267–7270 | Cite as

Building a new and sustainable “Silk Road economic belt”

  • Peiyue LiEmail author
  • Hui Qian
  • Ken W. F. Howard
  • Jianhua Wu
International Viewpoint and News


The building of the Silk Road economic belt is an exciting prospect that may bring immense economic benefits to Eurasian countries. However, intensive human activities to be induced by it may double the water crisis in central Asia, deteriorate the vulnerable environment, and accelerate energy consumption in this area. To build a new and sustainable Silk Road economic belt, advancing scientific research, reinforcing international collaboration and enhancing education are necessary steps. With careful planning, sound research, good data and the support from governments and the people, the Silk Road economic belt can be developed in an environmentally sustainable manner that is a credit to all involved.


Silk Road Water resources Environmental protection Energy saving Human activity 


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The authors acknowledge the financial support granted by the Foundation of Outstanding Young Scholar of Chang’an University (310829153509), the Special Fund for Basic Scientific Research of Central Colleges (310829151072), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41502234 and 41172212), the Doctor Postgraduate Technical Project of Chang’an University (2014G5290001) and the Special Fund for Scientific Research on Public Interest of the Ministry of Water Resources (201301084).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peiyue Li
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hui Qian
    • 1
    • 2
  • Ken W. F. Howard
    • 3
  • Jianhua Wu
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Environmental Science and EngineeringChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  2. 2.Key Laboratory of Subsurface Hydrology and Ecological Effects in Arid Region of the Ministry of EducationChang’an UniversityXi’anChina
  3. 3.Department of Physical and Environmental SciencesUniversity of Toronto ScarboroughTorontoCanada

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